Press Releases

Sheppard Mullin Continues Expansion With Addition of Three Bay Area Partners

Peter Carson Joins San Francisco, Palo Alto Welcomes Lorna Tanner & Stephanie Zeppa; Partners Bring Finance, Intellectual Property, & Corporate Expertise; Firm Grows With Six Partner Adds In Two Weeks

August 13, 2013

Peter H. Carson, Lorna L. Tanner and Stephanie L. Zeppa have joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as partners.  Carson joins the firm’s San Francisco office, as a member of the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group.  Tanner and Zeppa join the firm’s Palo Alto office, as members of the Intellectual Property practice group and Corporate practice group, respectively.  Carson joins from Bingham McCutchen, where he was a member of the Transactional Finance practice and co-chaired the Healthcare Industry Group.  Tanner joins from Foley & Lardner and Zeppa joins from Dentons.

"Peter, Lorna and Stephanie are outstanding additions to the firm.  Their respective practice expertise and backgrounds tightly mesh with our San Francisco and Palo Alto offices, as well as firmwide.  We continue to grow our Bay Area offices and expand our bench to better serve clients’ needs," said Guy N. Halgren, chairman of Sheppard Mullin.

“Peter is a great fit for our finance practice as he concentrates on the representation of banks and commercial finance lenders across a wide range of debt financings, markets and industries.  He is well-respected in the industry, well-known to many of our attorneys, and we represent many of the same clients,” commented Alan H. Martin, co-chair of Sheppard Mullin’s Finance and Bankruptcy practice group.

“The addition of Lorna and Stephanie to our office is testament to Sheppard Mullin’s continued success and growth in Silicon Valley.  Lorna’s patent prosecution practice dovetails well with both our IP practice group and life sciences team.  Stephanie brings a broad-based venture technology and emerging growth transactional expertise that fits well with our corporate practice in Palo Alto and firmwide,” commented Edward V. Anderson, co-managing partner of Sheppard Mullin’s Palo Alto office. “Sheppard Mullin represents both emerging technology and Fortune 500 companies, and Lorna and Stephanie’s clients similarly range in size from start-ups to established companies.” 

Carson’s practice is focused on representing U.S. and foreign banks, business development companies, commercial finance lenders, debt funds, and other institutional lenders as well as company and private equity clients.  He represents these clients in all aspects of complex secured and unsecured debt financings, including senior syndicated, asset-based, acquisition, mezzanine, second lien, credit enhancement and other financings, recapitalizations, and restructurings across a range of industries, such as healthcare, technology, retail, transportation and distribution, media and telecommunications, ski resorts, sports franchises, food and beverage, agriculture, and forest products.  Carson is a member of the American Law Institute and an officer of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers and received his J.D. from the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 1985 and B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1980.

Tanner counsels pharmaceutical, life science, and medical device clients on strategic issues relating to the development and management of their global intellectual property portfolios.  Her practice focuses on preparing and prosecuting patents to ensure clients’ business objectives are met.  Tanner performs due diligence analyses on patent portfolios for financings, mergers, and acquisitions and renders opinions on infringement, inventorship, and freedom-to-operate.  Her technical emphasis is in pharmaceutically active small molecules, in clinical development with a primary focus on developing and executing patent strategies for late-stage and approved drugs.  Tanner has experience in a variety of other technologies, including: polymers in the context of embolic compositions and adhesives; drug delivery, including pulmonary, topical, and pharmaceutical formulations; biologics such as modified proteins and viruses; green technologies such as clean coal refining; and medical devices, including aesthetic devices, syringes, catheters and embolic coils.  Tanner received a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2002 and B.S. from University of California, Berkeley in 1999.

Zeppa has extensive experience in corporate finance and securities matters, such as mergers and acquisitions, capital-raising transactions and strategic commercial transactions.  Her primary focus is on emerging growth and technology companies, with a company-side track record that spans the entire corporate life-cycle, including pre-incorporation planning, general corporate counseling, venture capital financings, strategic commercial transactions and mergers and acquisitions.  Zeppa also regularly works with investors and financial institutions on capital-raising transactions for emerging growth companies.  She has experience with companies in industries such as mobile, interactive entertainment products, new media and digital health.  Zeppa received a J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from Hastings School of Law, University of California in 1999 and a B.A., cum laude, from Pepperdine University in 1994. 

Sheppard Mullin has 120 attorneys based in its Bay Area offices (90 in San Francisco and 30 in Palo Alto).  The firm's Corporate practice group includes 140 attorneys, the Finance and Bankruptcy practice group includes 70 attorneys, and the firm’s Intellectual Property practice group includes 100 attorneys.

Yesterday, Corporate partner Tom Devaney joined Sheppard Mullin in the firm’s New York office from Morrison & Foerster.  On Aug. 1, partners David Almeida and Ariel Yehezkel joined Sheppard Mullin in the firm's Chicago and New York offices, respectively.  Almeida joined as a member of the Business Trial practice group and Privacy and Data Security practice from Sedgwick, where he was co-chair of that firm’s Privacy and Data Protection Group.  Yehezkel joined as a member of the Corporate practice group from Kirkland & Ellis.